The ruthless killing of 50 Muslim worshipers while they were performing Friday prayers in Christchurch city, New Zealand, more than a week ago, has renewed concerns over right-wing terror, which apparently is not less murderous than Islamist terrorism.
The preparator of the bloody attack, identified later as Brenton Tarrant, published a lengthy manifesto before carrying out his attack against two mosques, killing and injuring dozens of different Arab nationals, in which he revealed his motivations and reasons.
The 74-page document titled, The Great Replacement, included praise for US President Donald Trump, describing him as a symbol of white identity. However, Trump condemned the attack on Twitter describing it as a “horrific event.”
The 28-year-old white extremist revealed that he had been preparing for the attack for two years and moved from Australia to New Zealand to carry out his plan. He unveiled that he was inspired by American white supremacist, the Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, and the far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in bomb and shooting rampage in Norway in 2011.
He added that he was not seeking fame, but to cause a shock that will last for years– as well as fear–and required change. He noted that he targeted the worshippers because they are, “a large group of invaders from a culture with high fertility rates, strong traditions that seek to occupy my homeland and ethnically replace my own people.”
Asked if he hates Muslims, Tarrant said that he does not hate Muslims who live in their homelands, but he dislikes Muslims living on his soil. The only Muslims he truly hates are the ‘converts’ as they abandoned their true cultures and roots, he explained.
He added that the results of the French presidential elections in 2017 also motivated his attack, as he views the winner (President Emmanuel Macron) as a globalist and ex-investment banker without any national beliefs.
Furthermore, he expressed his disappointment over the loss of a civil nationalist (the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen). The French elections’ results are a clear sign that there will be no political solution for what he called a “demographic war” in Europe against white people, Tarrant said.
Increase in right-wing terrorist attacks
In the latest years, there is a remarkable increase in the number of right-wing terrorist attacks, according to the 2018 Global Terrorism Index. The report said that between 2013 and 2017, right-wing groups and individuals killed 66 people, killing 17 and attacking in 2017. In the UK alone, 12 far-right terror attacks took place.
The majority of the attacks, according to the index, were carried out by “lone actors with far-right, white nationalists, or anti-Muslim believers.”
In June 2018, the UK Home Office said that the number of far-right terrorists jailed in Britain more than tripled in 2017/18, of whom 13% were far-right extremists.
Meanwhile, the Europol 2018 report, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, stated that “the largest number of attacks in 2017 in which a terrorist affiliations could be identified were carried out by ethno-nationalist and separatist extremists (137).”
The report noted that “the attacks carried out by left-wing violent extremists have been on the rise since 2014, as they reached 24 acts in 2017, of which the majority (16) were reported by Italy.”
“The total number of jihadist terrorist attacks reached 17 in 2015, 13 in 2016, and 33 in 2017. While 135 of the 142 victims of terrorist attacks in 2016 were killed in the 13 jihadist attacks,” the report added.
“There’s no doubt that far-right extremism and terrorism are on the rise around the world,” Max Abrahms, the author of Rules for Rebels and a professor of political science at Northeastern University told Daily News Egypt.
“This is in response to racism, globalisation, and mass migration. Muslims and Jews are the main targets.”
“It’s unfortunate whenever there is a far-right attack, people trivialise it by emphasising that Islamist terrorism is also a big problem. They are both big problems,” Abrahms stressed.
“Terrorism is perpetrated by people for many different political reasons. Presently, we are in a religious and far-right wing wave,’ Abrahms argued.
The political science professor clarified that New Zealand’s perpetrator was very publicly-oriented. “He left a lengthy manifesto to broadcast his neo-Nazi, white supremacist, and anti-multiculturalism views, and then live-streamed the attack to draw attention to it.’
However, Abrahms suggested that he suspect that “we will continue to see more attacks like this one, where Islamophobics prey on Muslims around the world.’
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), “the overall number of international migrants has increased in the last few years from the estimated 152 million in 1990 to 173 million in 2000 and to 250 million in the present.”
The number of people who migrated to foreign countries increased by 41% in the last 15 years (2000-2015), the IOM added.
The IOM stated that in 2015, 67% of “all international migrants were living in just 20 countries.”
The majority of them live in the US (46.6 million, or 19.1% of all migrants) followed by Germany with 12 million migrants. Russia received 11.6 million migrants; Saudi Arabia with 10.1 million; the UK with 8.5 million; the UAE with 8.1 million; Canada with 7.8 million; France with 7.7 million; Australia with 6.7 million and Spain with 5.8 million migrants (including those born outside of the country of their citizenship).
Following the New Zealand attack, an Australian senator Fraser Anning blamed New Zealand’s attack on Muslim migration. “Does anyone still dispute the link between Muslim migration and violence?” he tweeted following the attack.
However, the Australian senator was largely criticised in his country by a number of Australian politicians and the country’s prime minister himself.
Kristy Campion, an Austrian terrorism historian, revealed that the problem with far-right extremism in her country does not lie with migration policies, as it has a long history in the country.
Campion clarified, in a piece of analysis published in The Conversation, that “the issue is with the broader Australian community that ignores or accepts the presence of right-wing extremists in its midst, which tolerates the increasingly Islamophobic and anti-immigrant discourse in Australia.”
The Austrian researcher continued that “Australian right-wing extremists tend to position themselves in response to an imagined or constructed threat.”
Furthermore, Campion mentioned that “right-wing extremism began to rise in 2009 across the world, in response to a supposedly existential threat, jihadism, and the broader Muslim community in the West.’
“Groups with international connections, such as the Australian Defence League and Right-Wing Resistance, were formed,” she added.
“The rise of Reclaim Australia – a nationalist protest group – also saw extremist members of these groups splinter off to form new groups, such as the True Blue Crew and the United Patriots Front,” Campion wrote.